September 19, 2014

Medina
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U.S. Marshals catch fugitive featured on ‘America’s Most Wanted’

Following a tip, authorities on Tuesday apprehended a wanted sex offender whose crimes include the 1992 rape of a Brunswick child. The U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, along with local authorities, arrested Dean Birdsall, 66, in a suburb of Rochester on Tuesday morning while he was riding his bicycle.

In May, Birdsall was added to the task force’s Most Wanted “Danger­ous Dozen” and “America’s Most Wanted” website.

Birdsall

Birdsall

The task force received informa­tion from a tipster who recognized Birdsall from the “America’s Most Wanted” website and said he was living in the Rochester area under the alias of Fred Bartholomew, the Marshals Service reported.

The task force recently placed Birdsall’s face on digital billboards in the Akron and Cleveland areas in an attempt to find him.

Birdsall was sentenced in 1994 by Common Pleas Judge Phillip Baird to seven to 25 years in prison for raping a child younger than age 13 in Brunswick. The Gazette at the time reported that he would be eligible for parole in four to five years.

Records from the Ohio Depart­ment of Rehabilitation and Cor­rection show Birdsall was released December 2007.

He was classified as a Tier III sex offender and was required to reg­ister with the local sheriff’s office every 90 days. But the last time Birdsall registered was two years ago in Mansfield, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Birdsall was paroled and ordered to report to a Mans­field halfway house to serve the remainder of his sentence but failed to report, resulting in warrants for his arrest, authori­ties said.

This isn’t the first time author­ities had to search for Birdsall. After a warrant was issued for his arrest on the rape charge in 1992, it took almost a year for them to locate Birdsall, who was in the state of Washington.

Birdsall potentially could face up to 30 years in prison, authorities said.

Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (330) 721-4050 or kbushinski@medina-gazette.com.